By Sam Madden
Sometimes, (maybe more often than not), I think what we are trying to achieve here at the Center For Pluralism is a pipe dream. But then I think of all the great encounters I have had with other people over the years. People from all Faiths and traditions, From Wiccans, to Muslims, Leftists, Rightists, Centrists, etc. and it is those memories that keep my work here going.
What inspired me to write this was a family conversation regarding the division this country is facing, which seems unprecedented except for the civil war. I couldn’t even get my family together to unite, it frustrated me so much, I even started arguing with my Nephew who is a very intelligent individual, is open minded and we agree on a lot of subjects, and have had very deep intellectual conversations.
So I thought if I can’t even achieve unity within my own family, how am I going to do it with others, but then like I stated I focused on all of the great people I have met and the experiences I have had.
Which brings us to this question. Do we want unity or do we want division? It’s our choice. No matter who is president of the United States we can choose to unite or we can continue to choose the division we have been experiencing which is turning this country into shambles.
Now unity does not mean that we will always agree with each other. What it does mean that we are open minded, love and respect each other enough to listen to each other with open ears and an open heart, learning from each other.
So this November 3rd when you go to vote, vote for unity. How does one do this? Forget about party affiliation. Vote for those people that have the highest bipartisan voting record.
In 2018, I voted for first time runner Democrat Colin Alred who was running against 20 year veteran of congress Republican Pete Sessions.
At first I was immediately disappointed in Mr. Alred because he backed Nancy Pelosi as speaker, whose career has shown much divisiveness. But as I followed Mr. Alred he did a tremendous amount of good work in Congress, including accomplishing turning a Hospital here in Garland where I live into a VA hospital. Once this is completed veterans will no longer have to travel to south Dallas to get healthcare. I also checked his voting record in the two years he was in Congress. He has a 95% Bipartisan Voting record.
And this is how we strive towards unity. We vote based on Bipartisan Voting records of each candidate. That is our main measure on who we vote for this coming election. If we vote for people that are bipartisan (regardless of party), it will help our government unite and get more things done for the American people.
So I encourage everyone to vote “Bipartisan” this coming election. We need people in office that are willing to work across the aisles as a step towards unity.
Sam Madden is a board member and consultant for the Center For Pluralism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org